Red Fork

Location: S22-27 TS19N R12E. Post office from 3 Jan 1894 - 31 Jul 1928. The history of Red Fork is found in J M Hall's Beginning of Tulsa - now a part of West Tulsa.

[TCHS] Many towns established in Central Tulsa County are now within Tulsa city limits. Red Fork, established in 1884, was located eighteen miles from the junction of the Cimarron and Arkansas Rivers and was for several years the Frisco railroads terminus in Indian Territory. It was an important shipping point for the cattle raised in the Chickasaw Nation, Shawnee and Sac and Fox Indian territories. In 1901, a thirty barrel oil well was brought in on the allotment of Mrs. J. C. W. Bland. This new shallow well attracted widespread attention and within a few months the village of 75 people had grown into a town of 1,500. The original townsite contained 160 acres laid out by the government, and the town of Red Fork was incorporated in 1902. Early businesses included Hall, Hall and Company and the Red Fork Derrick, a local newspaper published by 0. B. Jones. The Presbyterian church was the first built and was used by iterant preachers of various denominations. It also housed the first school in the village. In 1923, Red Fork was annexed into Tulsa.

[Historic Tulsa; An Illustrated History of Tulsa & Tulsa County; by Beryl Ford, Charles Ford, Rodger Randle, and Bob Byrke; Commissioned by the Oklahoma Heritage Association and the Tulsa Historical Society; Historical Publishing Network; San Antonio, TX; 2006; pgs 75-76] -

"In 1884, James Parkinson built a large general store on the Frisco Railroad eighteen miles from the junction of the Cimarron, known as the Red Fork, and Arkansas Rivers. The station became known as Red Fork and was for several years the western terminus of the Frisco in Indian Territory. Red Fork was an important shipping point for cattle raised in the Chickasaw Nation, the Shawnee country, and territory occupied by the Sac and Fox tribes. A post office was established at Red Fork on January 3, 1884.

South and west of Red Fork was unsettled country. The Dalton gang and other outlaws frequented the area. The Daltons once raided H. C. Hall's store at Red Fork.

Red Fork was a sleepy village of about 75 people in 1901 when oil was discovered on an allotment owned by Sue Davis Bland. The new shallow oil field attracted great attention. Within a few months, the population of Red Fork exploded to 1.500.

Ref Fork was incorporated in 1902 with an original townsite of 160 acres. Nice homes began to replace crude shacks where oil prospectors had lived. O. B. Jones began a weekly newspaper, Red Fork Derrick. A Presbyterian church housed the town's first school.

Red Fork's growth was stunted when the Frisco Railroad extended its line farther west. With the establishment of Sapulpa, cattle shipments and trade were diverted from Red Fork. With the oil strike at Glenn Pool, oil men left Red Ford, leaving the town with only three hundred inhabitants.

The cowboys and oil field workers who lived in Red Fork gave it a rowdy reputation that lingered for decades. Known as one of Tulsa County's safest areas, legend has it that Red Fork residents like for outsiders to believe its old reputation - it keeps outsiders from moving in.

In 1918, new life was breathed into Red Fork when the Tulsa-Sapulpa Interurban line was built. Workers at large industrial plants in west Tulsa saw Red Fork as a good place to live. Soon, Red Fork had an accredited high school, an active chamber of commerce, and had brown to a thriving city of 2,000 people.

The Red Fork post office was closed on July 31, 1928. After the community was annexed to the City of Tulsa. The post office became Red Fork Station Tulsa's post office.

Little remains of what became a booming cattle shipping point and oil boom town. Lookout Mountain, known by old-timers as Red Fork Mountain, looms over the original downtown area of Red Fork. A stretch of Interstate 244, built in the 1970s, splits in half the old Red Fork business district."

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Linda Haas Davenport